The Northern Ireland peace process: A supplement to 'Striking a balance' (update 2003)
Publication date: 
2003
Accord issue: 
8

Five years from the signing of the Belfast Agreement on 10 April 1998 it is unclear if the Northern Ireland peace process can be held up as an example of good practice.

Clem McCartney

Northern Ireland is in a post-settlement phase, but not yet a post-conflict one. Clem McCartney reviews the achievements and persisting doubts around the implementation process.

He finds it has become less inclusive and more focused on the leaders of UUP and Sinn Féin, while the British and Irish governments have engaged in a pattern of gesture politics that allows the parties to avoid the real issues. He discusses the various weaknesses in the agreement that implementation has exposed and concludes by looking at the prospects for progress after the forthcoming elections.